Data and You

Data and You explores the impact of 'systems' on the individual. It became a catchall phrase to discuss the (usually negative) effects of applications of automation, big data, machine learning, and natural language processing technologies on social and civic issues, rights, ethics, and politics. The aim of the project is to document and analyse the interaction of big data technologies with human identity and rights, and what these interactions mean for rights to freedom of speech and expression.

We do this through a collection of nine essays called Seen Through Machines released serially in Autumn 2017. These essays take a variety of cases, anecdotes and cultural objects as starting points - language processing algorithms, fintech, sexuality identity categories, anti-rape technologies, malware, etc -and through them explicitly address the interaction of big data technologies with gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race, and class. The collection describes processes of quantification, categorisation, and pattern recognition and their implications for people and institutions that work for human rights, freedoms and dignity.

In addition to data and discrimination, it also introduces a third D, design, of digital interfaces and apps and the contexts in which they are designed. This section examines systems and user design in the context of digital security and privacy to inspire informed and politicised discussions about accountability in design processes.

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More from this project

On Weaponised Design

Weaponised design is a process that allows for harm of users within the defined bounds of a designed system. This article takes a look at how it can be faciliated by designers who are oblivious to the politics of digital infrastructure or consider their design practice output to be apolitical.

Quantifying Homosexuality: A Critique

This article examines a few moments related to the history of homosexuality and its categorisation. It starts with recent facial recognition algorithms to distinguish straight and gay faces and ends with Alan Turing’s questions about gender and The Imitation Game.

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[Our partners] Interview with Soledad Magnone, Director of the JAAKLAC iniciativa

Tactical Tech interviewed Soledad Magnone, director of the JAAKLAC, an initiative that, through collaborative projects, designs and researches the possibilities of Critical Digital Education (CDE), which nurtures individuals’ understanding of how technologies affect societies and the environment and promotes collective action to manifest fairer digital societies.

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Co-Creating a Public Education Intervention: A Contextual Analysis

This series outlines the initiation, delivery, and findings of the What the Future Wants project (so far) in the hope that other organisations, initiatives, and individuals working with young people can learn from our experience and the rich insights of all of the young people who contributed.

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New Report: Digital Reset. Redirecting Technologies for the Deep Sustainability Transformation.

The “Digital Reset” report by the project ‘Digitalization for Sustainability – Science in Dialogue’ (D4S) shows how digital technologies can support the quest for such a deep sustainability transformation. The report provides a blueprint for the European Union to reconceptualise digitalisation so that it first and foremost contributes to achieving carbon neutrality, resource autonomy and economic resilience while supporting equity and fully respecting citizens’ rights and privacy.

Open call for a Safeguarding Expert - What the Future Wants

The What the Future Wants project is looking for a Safeguarding Expert with experience working with young people (11-18 years old),  for a limited-duration consultancy. The Safeguarding Expert will conduct a training session for Tactical Tech staff and partners and draft written guidelines for safeguarding practices to be implemented when working with young people worldwide.

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Annual Report 2021: Building a sustainable digital future

In 2021, Tactical Tech worked to empower organisations worldwide to build a sustainable digital future. The main focuses of our projects and initiatives were changing the conversation, expanding knowledge, advancing skills, and reaching new audiences. This report highlights the key results of 2021.

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[Job opportunity] Grants and Fundraising Coordinator

We are looking for an engaged Grants and Fundraising Coordinator with strong organisational and interpersonal skills, committed to a non-profit cause to coordinate grant management, ensuring adherence to contracted work plans and log-frames across grants.

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Verify a Photo's Origins

Building on content from our Digital Enquirer Kit, learn how to conduct a reverse image search to verify a photo’s origins on the internet in this Data Detox Kit article!

Is What You See Really What You Get?

How can you be sure that what you see on apps like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and WhatsApp is reliable? Explore visual information with a new guide from our Data Detox Kit, adapted from the Digital Enquirer Kit!

Development Administrator

Tactical Tech is looking for a committed and engaged person interested in learning and growing while using their professional skills within our Development team. Apply by January 16th!

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Unboxing Tech Toolkit

What are the persuasive design and 'dark patterns' that keep us hooked to our phones? The Unboxing Tech Toolkit, developed by the Pranava Institute alongside young people in India, is a youth workbook about how technology can tune our behavior, emotions and attention, and importantly, what can be done about it.

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The Glass Room: Capsule 2.0

The Glass Room presents Capsule 2.0, 'Nothing Personal?', our latest showcase of digital objects, both old and new. This second capsule explores how technologies are designed, branded and engineered to collect deeply personal data and influence our real-time behaviours.

Digital Enquirer Kit

The first two modules of our Digital Enquirer Kit, tackling the theme of misinformation, are now available on the free Atingi platform, with more modules and translations coming soon. Sign up now!

Call for Internship: Project Assistant

Tactical Tech is offering an internship position for a student or a junior professional to assist The Glass Room project in preparing materials and supporting partners globally in organising events for their communities.

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Time for Big Tech to Grow Up

Our Executive Director and co-founder Stephanie Hankey responds to Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen's testimony and argues that, when it comes to social media and young people: "it's Big Tech that needs to grow up".

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The Glass Room - Netherlands

From the tech boom to tech backlash, our understanding of the digital has become both deeply personal and deeply political. Two major Glass Room exhibitions tackling these themes are taking place in The Netherlands, in Leeuwarden and Amsterdam.

How to Create a Data Policy

Working with data comes with risks. This four-step guide from our Data & Activism project is designed to help individuals, NGOs and other civil society actors create their own Data Policy.

Investigation is Collaboration: How to Make It Work

Never investigate alone. Collaboration is essential to your safety, well-being and effectiveness as an investigator, no matter the context. This guide from Exposing the Invisible: The Kit will help you plan, organise and run your collaboration with investigators, sources and others.

Annual Report 2020

In our Annual Report 2020, you can read about our activities and successes across each of our projects last year, as well as who we are as an organisation and how we responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Call for a Podcast Producer

Our Exposing the Invisible project is looking for a short-term podcast producer to help create a series of brief, inspiring and informative podcasts.

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Campaign Apps Ghana 2020

How was a mobile phone shop in Vietnam able to access personal data from voters in Ghana? The third part of our Data & Politics series on Medium looks at campaign apps in the 2020 Ghanaian election.

The Glass Room: Capsule 1.0

The Glass Room presents Capsule 1.0, a quarterly showcase of digital objects - old and new - from previous Community Edition series, independent investigations and collaborations. This first capsule explores how our phone numbers, face prints and personal data travel from our smartphones to different third-party organisations.

Why Investigate Election Apps?

The second in this series of articles on Medium from our Data & Politics project looks at how the 'appification' of nearly every aspect of our lives has spread to politics, elections and issue campaigning.

Data Acquisition for Beginners

Finding and gathering information is essential to any investigation, but not all data sets are created equal. This new chapter of Exposing the Invisible: The Kit includes descriptions of common file types, methods for gathering data, and a how-to guide on converting your data into a format more easily analysed by computer programs.

Consultancy Call: Researcher/Writer on Digital Investigation Techniques

We are looking for experienced Researchers/Writers with a strong understanding of digital investigative techniques, to help create written learning materials to train journalists, human rights defenders, and civil society on leading investigations, particularly in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, MENA, and Southeast Asia.

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Lessons To Learn: Young People And AI

What do young people need to know about artificial intelligence (AI) in order to use it responsibly and make informed decisions? Our co-founder Stephanie Hankey spoke to the Goethe-Institut about the need for educational institutions and civil society to join forces to promote digital literacy.

Online Events and Personal Data

In this chapter of the Organiser's Activity Book, discover what types of personal data are created during online events. Learn about the tools that are available to host online events; the differences in how they work; and their risks and benefits.

Transparency in Data-Driven Campaigns

Tactical Tech’s Data & Politics Team is excited to announce that the Swedish Postcode Foundation will support our latest initiative to create transparency on the use of personal data in political campaigns and the surrounding influence industry.

Refresh and Renew

When you Google your name, you'll likely find a whole range of digital traces: do you want the world to find everything you've ever put online? A new Data Detox Kit article explains how to curate your online identity and accounts.

A Data-Day

Check out this updated visualisation of the data you give away when you click 'I Agree', with key phrases from the terms and conditions of popular apps and services.

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Reflections on the European Democracy Action Plan

If Europe’s elections are to remain contests of campaigns’ political ideas and not of their digital strategies, the systemic challenges to democracy must not be overlooked by the fires of the present moment. Varoon Bashyakarla from our Data & Politics team writes for the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung.

Data & Politics: Global Partnerships

In order to investigate the 'Influence Industry' in different contexts and countries, our Data & Politics project has partnered with a diverse range of organisations and individuals in the Global South. Find out more about the work these partners do.

Evaluating Evidence and Information Sources

You’ve identified and collected information that may serve as evidence in your investigation. What next? Learn how to analyse and verify it as well as how to evaluate your information sources in this new chapter from Exposing the Invisible: The Kit.

Skin Deep: Deep Fakes and Misinformation

Misinformation and disinformation have dominated headlines in 2020 and eroded trust in the information that surrounds us, from social media to conventional media; from politicians to scientists; from text to photographs to videos. Reality, it seems, is increasingly only skin deep. Find out more in this article on Medium.

Data Detox Workshops

The Data Detox Kit Workshops page is now live! Here you'll find downloadable curriculum materials which have been developed and tested by Tactical Tech trainers and Data Detox Kit's global network of partners.

Misinformation Edition: Translations

The Glass Room: Misinformation Edition, which can be visited online or hosted offline, has been translated into French, German, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Slovenian, Lithuanian and Ukrainian, with more coming soon. Take a look and visit the exhibition virtually in your preferred language!

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Investigative Institute: Deadline Extended

The deadline for applications to our 'Exposing the Invisible' Investigative Institute from January-February 2021 has been extended to 11th December. Join us for a three-week online workshop to share skills and techniques for secure investigations and digital research methods across the European Union.

A Voter's Guide: 7 Tips to Detox Your Data

Our Voter’s Guide explains how personal data is collected and used by political parties and candidates – and what voters can do about it. The seven tips are now available in both English and Dutch.

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Your Data, Our Democracy

As elections become increasingly data-intensive, our personal data is becoming a political asset for campaigns to leverage. This new animation, in English and Dutch, explains how this process happens - and what we can do about it.

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Predictive Futures

This summer, tens of thousands of British school students took to the streets to protest the use of an algorithm that predicted their end-of-school grades. A new article on Medium from the coordinator of our Youth project, Daisy Kidd, looks at the normalisation of monitoring and surveillance in education.

Event Promotion for Organisers

This new chapter of the Organiser's Activity Book from our Data & Activism project looks at event promotion. The playful activities, aimed at organisers, campaigners and human rights defenders, explore the consequences, risks and benefits of using tools like social media in terms of personal data.

The Zoom Boom: Tools To Work from Home

Due to the pandemic and resulting quarantine, millions of people are using digital tools to continue their work and communication from home. A new article for the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung by our Programme Director, Christy Lange, asks: how secure are the digital tools that have become a part of our everyday life?

Gathering Visual Evidence

Learn how to identify, record and represent the images of an event by mastering the basics of visual evidence collection in this new chapter from Exposing the Invisible: The Kit.

Safety First!

Stay digitally, physically and psychologically safe and aware of potential risks by adopting some basic good practices and tools to keep your human sources, yourself and your evidence protected in this new chapter of Exposing the Invisible: The Kit.

Travel and Our Data Baggage

What data traces do we leave when we travel? A new chapter of the playful, interactive Organiser's Activity Book helps civil society organisers deal with 'data baggage', including flights, visas and accommodation.